By Mark Jenkins
Friday, April 19, 2013
The three pieces on “Cometary Orbital Drive to 2199,” the new album by Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., begin as what is sometimes termed “slow music.” But each track gradually accelerates, following an interstellar course from ambient minimalism to psychedelic rock. The effect is both mesmerizing and invigorating.
Revisiting a number that has been in the prolific Japanese quintet’s repertoire for years, these variations share a six-note riff and similar titles. (Only the date in the title changes, jumping to “2200” and then “2201.”) The tempo of the central melody continually increases, in the manner of early Steve Reich works such as “Four Organs.” But the intensifying motif is not the only component; it also features driving percussion, galloping bass and anarchic guitar-synth interplay that swirls around those six adamant notes.
Acid Mothers Temple was founded in 1995 by Kawabata Makoto and takes various forms, indicated by extensions to its name. The central lineup remains fairly steady, but outside collaborators are common.
On this album, the guest is guitarist Yamamoto Seiichi, who plays on “Cometary Orbital Drive to 2200.” The shortest of the three takes, it’s also the most lyrical, with echoes of the Grateful Dead in its middle section. Once it blasts off, though, this version is as deliriously spacy as the other two.